Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Road to Raw Food

Yes folks.  I've entered the twilight zone of raw food.  I never thought my healthy eating would go this far but when you spend most of every day in fear of eating something that will make you sick, you are willing to give anything a try.

I've tried the raw food thing once before but I jumped in without a life vest so to speak and nearly drowned in  dehydrating techniques, juicing without a juicer (do not try this at home-you will never eat celery again) and spending too much time soaking and rinsing things that I had never even heard of before.

Perhaps I should explain what the raw food lifestyle is for those of you who are fortunate enough to have never been lured into this cult like way of preparing and eating food.  Raw foodists believe that in order to receive all the nutrients and enzymes that the body needs food must not be heated over a certain temperature (no more than 120 degrees F although there is not an across the board agreement on this). There are other things involved as well, such as how food is prepared, what food to eat, etc.  For most of us who have a hard enough time trying to cook a tv dinner in the microwave without burning it, living a raw food lifestyle would be a real pain in the ass. And that's an understatement.

But when my health started to get bad again I thought I would take another stab at eating raw. This time though I decided to stick my toes in first before immersing myself.  And boy am I glad I did.  Yesterday was my first day and I couldn't believe how easy it was.  First of all, I simply added some raw foods to my meals.  Last night for dinner we had cooked (yeah, that's right-cooked, at a steamy 375 degrees no less) salmon with cooked rice and my now favorite salad of all time..... zucchini salad with sun dried tomatoes!  It was freaking delicious and ridiculously easy to make.  It took me all of ten minutes.  

I used two small zucchinis, a small handful of baby carrots, same for the sun dried tomatoes (Trader Joe's has them now not soaked in oil-fantastic!), 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and of apple cider vinegar, a dab of crushed garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.  

I used a vegetable peeler to slice up the zucchinis lengthwise into strips and placed them in a small bowl.  I shredded the carrots with a cheese grater and cut up the sun dried tomatoes into little bits.  I mixed it all together with the oil, vinegar, garlic and herbs and voila!  It was that easy!  Then I let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. It was so good I would've just had that as my dinner and been satisfied.

Not only did I have this wonderful dish but I made a cucumber "soup" too.  I took one large cucumber, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup water, a dab or two of minced red onion (this was very strong tasting initially but subsided after sitting in the fridge for a couple hours) salt and pepper to taste and blended it all together in the blender.  Just like that I had soup.  It was very refreshing.  

I should suggest using only organic produce when making these dishes not just for health factors but taste too. I used cucumber and avocado from our local corner store--not organic.  The cucumber tasted like sweaty socks and most of the avocado was rotting inside. It did taste better once blended and since I was just testing things out (and maybe would've been throwing it out too if it didn't come out well) I figured no harm done.  Next time will for sure be organic.

So raw food can be done my friends even for those of us who get turned off at the thought of having to  wield a vegetable peeler. The plus side is I don't feel full and tired.  I feel satiated and less tired.  Maybe going forward I will feel energized.  Only time will tell.

I'm looking forward to lunch! The menu calls for spinach salad with homemade curry dressing.  Mmmm.....

Friday, June 10, 2011

New Blog Coming Soon! It's all about Gratitude

Hi there everyone,
I'm sure you have missed me and my wholefoodee blogs, of which, I am hoping I will pick up again soon.  In the meantime, I will be starting another blog and wanted to inform you all about it. But first, let me explain where this is coming from.

Today I went for a run in China Camp, the place I always go for solitude, soul cleansing, meditation.  It's basically what I would call a "poor man's therapy".  Usually when I go in the late afternoon and especially when it's warm and sunny (although lately the warm factor is amiss) the shoreline trail is quite busy with both novice and semi pro (or at least they are dressed as if) mountain bikers.  The general rule is to communicate to one another and to give pedestrians, then horses, then bikers the right of way.  Well, the laws of nature seem to dictate that if you are on something with two wheels, that is going quite fast then anything and everything else should get out of the way for you, without so much as an, "excuse me, thank you."  Although there are a few who at least acknowledge your existence by saying, "On your left!" as they zoom past, dirt flicking from their back tires.

Today wasn't much different except for one man who, after speeding down a switchback right above me with his female com padre, stopped about twenty feet in front of me and pulled off the side of the trail so that I could run past, sans dirt flick. Not only did he do this but after I graciously thanked him he replied, "Enjoy." And I immediately thought to myself, "I certainly will."  His comment stayed with me for the rest of my run and  made me realize how powerful words and actions can be.  This complete stranger made me feel good. How great would it be if everyone behaved like this one man all the time? To do and say something so simple yet change how a person feels from something maybe ho hum or even sad to kind and happy.

So, because of this man's kindness to me I wanted to be able to pay it forward in some way.  I came up with the idea of starting a blog about gratitude. This is what my next blog will be about and maybe it will allow us to all focus more on what we have rather than what we don't. So for this blog I am thankful for all of you who are reading this and hopefully gaining something from this or at least, giving me some sort of validation just for reading it.

There is one person in particular who I am especially grateful for and who I spoke to earlier today about my life's dreams. I had said I wanted to write but in that statement created this vision of how my life had to be a certain way in order for me to do that.  I also set certain parameters of how and what I would write and when and where. He made me realize that the only thing stopping me from writing was me. Thank you Bryan and just for the record what you say does make a difference in how people go about their lives.

Thanks again,